Watch as community spirited window cleaner makes it his mission to clean Sunderland's road signs for free to keep motorists safe
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Over the last week, Freddy Freeman, 31, who owns Fred’s Cleaning Services Ltd, has been going out after his cleaning rounds to spruce up dirty signs which can be difficult for motorists to see, particularly during evening rush hour as the dark nights draw in.
Seeing signs at night can become even more difficult during the winter months when information can become obscured or blurred by grit used to prevent icy roads.
It’s the third year Freddy has undertaken his road safety mission after noticing the problem in 2020.
He said: “I was driving along the A182 heading towards Rickleton, it was autumn time and I noticed you couldn’t see the name of the sign for my turn-off as it was covered with grime and dirt.
"Obviously when you are driving you need to be able to just glance at a sign and see things quickly. After that incident, I started noticing more and more signs which were covered in grime or weren’t clearly visible in poor light due to having a green coating on the surface.
"At the same time, there was a window cleaner in London who had been posting videos on Youtube of himself cleaning signs and I decided to do the same here. Once the nights start drawing in, as I go about my rounds, I make a note of signs which are difficult to see in the dark.
"After my round, or if I have a spare afternoon, I will head back there and use my jet wash and reach wash to clean the sign. I normally work within a 15 mile radius covering Washington, Houghton, Shiney Row and parts of the city such as Pallion.”
Last week, Freddy, from Houghton, cleaned eight roadside signs which he had noticed were particularly dirty, all at his own expense.
He said: “I obviously have to pay for fuel for my van and the jet wash and have to buy specialist water which doesn’t leave streaks. I do it as I want to give something back to the community. I’ve lived here for nine years and the local residents have really helped to make the business what it is today and so I wanted to do something for them."
Freddy’s efforts certainly seem to be appreciated by passing motorists and local people.
He said: “Some signs I can’t clean as it would be too dangerous to park up. I often get motorists who toot their horns or give me a wave of appreciation and I’ve also had some great feedback on my Facebook page.”
One poster commented “it may not seem like much, but it’s something that makes such a huge difference to drivers”, while a local driving instructor said “part of a practical driving test is to follow signs and this really helps. Thank you”.
As well as cleaning windows, Freddy also cleans driveways and guttering and can be contacted via his Facebook page.